Missions & Outreach News
The Good Samaritan HELPS Ministry provides funding for practical, short-term relief to our neighbors who need a one-time assistance to pay rent, a utility bill, prescriptions, car repair, or other immediate needs. (HELPS is not an acronym; simply the name of the program.) The ministry focuses on temporary problems and giving our neighbors a helping hand during a difficult time. In 2016, HELPS provided financial assistance of $15,757 to 60 individuals or families. (There were 108 actual requests: 20 were denied assistance and 28 others did not follow through with necessary information or documentation to complete the process. Recipients must live in Chester County, may receive a maximum of $300 toward any request, can be served one time in 12 months, and the need must fit or be similar to examples shown above.) To date in 2017, HELPS has assisted 13 clients, dispersing $3,493.
HELPS is administered and guided by Deacon Jeff Moretzsohn; Glenna Geiger, Angela Linden, and Rose Dodd serve (on a weekly rotating basis) to receive requests, assess the validity and appropriateness of requests, assist clients in making longer-term plans, and decide whether a request is funded. In doing this they appreciate their new computer program that keeps track of client history and past decisions, which helps them quickly and more easily determine eligibility – it has streamlined the entire process. While HELPS is working well with the three counselors, having one or two more would make scheduling easier and reduce the overall workload. Anyone interested in what is involved can contact Jeff, Glenna, Angela, or Rose for more information.
HELPS counselors request prayers:
- For the people we serve so they can have a way to make financial ends meet in their uncertain times.
- That counselors have the insight, compassion, and strength to assist their clients, especially when working with those who seem to be in “nearly-impossible” situations.
African Theological Seminary (ATS), Kitale, Kenya
Fred Barasa is the Mission Committee’s advocate/contact with ATS and shares their most recent report. Some highlights include:
ATS is collaborating with Georgia Christian University (GCU) with the main objective to provide Christian higher education in BA programs in Business Management and Christian Education. GCU has paid necessary fees to ATS, but ATS is awaiting a third-party verification of their resources, facilities, and administrative procedures for actual accreditation before they can finalize their new partnership.
The Clarence Matheny Leadership Training Institute in Ongata Rongai, Kenya is registered to train pastors and senior church leaders and help them go to the next level in their ministry and development. CMLTI is working to become a branch and hosting campus for ATS. Both institutions hope to have their partnership finalized this month, with a target actual launch date in September, 2017.
ATS had targeted to admit 50 students this term and received 42. Total student population is 131, and 28 students are to graduate this month (at the Mt. Elgon and Kitale campuses) from the counselling and theology departments.
They give thanks for the ongoing support of the Church of the Good Samaritan and were excited to have a visit in January by Rusty Smith, Geoff Simpson, and Chuck Ernst. They extend an invitation to anyone at Good Sam to come and visit!
- Pray that we were able to give a good education and training to the 28 students who will graduate this month.
- Pray that ATS will “pass” the accreditation inspection so we can complete our desired partnership with Georgia Christian University.
- Pray that financial resources will become available to pay our library resources subscription fees to the University of Nairobi. We are grateful for the grace of understanding the university has extended, but are concerned that this understanding can end if we are unable to pay the fees.
Give thanks for the construction of a boda-boda (motor bike) shed near our main gate. This has helped reduce the congestion near our entrance, as well as serve as a deterrent for neighbors who have been dumping garbage in this space.
Give thanks for our ongoing relationship with the Church of the Good Samaritan and especially for the visit by Rusty, Geoff, and Chuck.
Missions Committee Input
Over the last few years, the Missions Committee has tried to provide more information to the congregation regarding the various missions and outreach efforts we support. Key components have been these weekly updates in the weekly newsletter, inclusion into the Sunday services’ Prayers of the People, and various informational sessions when supported missionaries come to visit Good Sam.
Over the next months we are taking an informal look at what we’ve been doing: what is particularly valuable, what not so valuable, should we do more, do less? If you have any thoughts about what we are doing, positive, negative, or just a suggestion, please share such with a member of the Missions Committee. We’d appreciate hearing from you. Current members are: Kevin Hicks, Jane Balsan, Robin Smith, Deryck Livingston, Fred Barasa, Deacon Jeff Moretzshon, and committee chair Keith Dodd. (Keith’s email: email@example.com).